Saturday, November 27, 2021

Celebrating Rosita Missoni's 90th Birthday - Party Photographs

Celebrating Rosita Missoni's 90th Birthday
Party Photographs 
The amazing Rosita Missoni's 90th birthday party was hosted by Angela in a fairy tale setting of color, flickering lights, music and dancing, the tireless nonagenarian designer was surrounded by the affectionate company of family and friends.  The "cake" encircled by 90 green candles was made up of little pastry baskets of berries and mushroom shaped meringues evoking the undergrowth and Rosita's passion for mushroom foraging. 
Viva Rosita!
 Rosita, Andree Ruth Shammah, Nanda Riva, Hilda Mandelli and Carla Alvera
Fabio Capello and Angela Missoni
Roger and Lisa Selden

Francesco Maccapani Missoni and Elsa Magnelli with Gordo
Maurizio Nichetti and Maria Pia Angelini
Rosita and Stefano Giovannoni

Alvise Alvera and Paolo Martinoni Caleppio
Teresa Maccapani Missoni and Laura Panno
Angela Missoni and Andree Ruth Shammah
Alexandra Sweeney and Jennifer Missoni

Tommaso Cardile, Margherita Maccapani Missoni
and Jennifer Missoni
Luca and Judy Missoni
Rosita Forever!
Silvia Martinenghi, Rosita, Carla Alvera
and Federica Marangoni

Cristina Gabetti and Marva Griffin Wilshire

Dancing by the pool to the music of
Renzo Rubino and the Missionari

Mariuccia Casadio
and Anna Dominique Janecek
Maria Mulas and Rosita
Ottavio Missoni

Lillo Scaringi and Gilda Bojardi

Rosita and Margherita Maccapani Missoni

Sibilla Camurati and Marco Maccapani
Angelo Jelmini and Giovanni Gregoletto
Michela Moro

Alberto Zappa, Enrica Fugazzola, Eugenio Amos
and Silvia Torassa

Gerlinde and Eduardo Guelfenbein
Carla Vanni and Rosita

Gerlinde Guelfenbein, Helen Wong Chong and Liz Griffiths

and Stefano Giovannoni
Giovanni Magnano, Filippo Galli Vannoni and Alexandra Sweeney

Luziah Hennessy

Maya Skupien, Sissy, Tania, Marco and Giacomo Missoni
Wanda Jelmini, Mayur Ghadialy and Paola Dellavalle
Elisabetta Missoni and  Lorenzo Foffani
Letizia Miozzi, Roger Selden, Ampelio Bucci, Nanda Riva,
Vanda Bernasconi
Many Happy Returns 










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Monday, November 22, 2021

Milano - Palazzo Reale - Corpus Domini - From the Glorified Body to the Ruins of the Soul - Exibition


Corpus Domini 
From the Glorified Body to the Ruins of the Soul 

At Palazzo Reale in Milan the exhibition - Corpus Domini - From the Glorified Body to the Ruins of the Soul - until January 30 -  curated by Francesca Alfano Miglietti brings together 111 works - installations, sculptures, drawings, paintings, video installations and photographs - by 34 internationally recognized artists - some of the icons of Contemporary Art - which are on display for the first time in Italy - to collectively capture the multiplicity of the ways in which the human being is represented. The title refers to the disappearance of the 'real body' in favor of the 'body of the spectacle': from the Glorified Body - the body of awareness, of rebellion, of otherness - to the Contemporary Body - intended on the one hand as the body of our spectacle-based society, and on the other in its most poetic forms of exodus, of work, of the silent multitude. 
Chiharu Shiota - Over the Continents - 2011
Shiota's work on display is a spray of red cotton thread that radiate out from one single point and whose ends is tied a shoe, each one different from the other, worn or never used, symbols of an absent body that nevertheless leaves a trace.  The installation was first presented ten years ago and still embodies a series of themes, from immigration to feminicide, relevant to our society.

"The boundary between real and imaginary is less and less recognizable, to the point of absorbing reality into a screen, as demonstrated by the obsessive presence of screens in our lives:  the flat screens of televisions and computers, video games, smartphones.  The screen erases the distance between the viewer and the viewed, invites us to immerse ourselves in it, offers us a reality we can hold in our hand, but which our hand has no grip".
Francesca Alfano Miglietti

The Lea Vergine Room
The origins of Corpus Domini grew out of the studies conducted by Lea Vergine, who worked alongside Francesca Alfano Miglietti on the project from the outset and remained the curator's main interlocutor until her recent death. The exhibition opens with a room dedicated to her, a tribute to her life, her work, and to her many significant encounters and relationships. On display are photographs, books, documents, and interviews of the militant critic who in the course of her career was able to valorize an ‘unnecessary’ and at times rather troubled world, that of art. Neapolitan by birth, Lea Vergine became involved in the ‘70s with Body Art, the movement in which artists use their bodies as a medium to create works, some of which are present in the exhibition.

Antony Gormley - Pile IV - 2019 - is a set of fourteen ceramic elements, essentially polished stones arranged anthropomorphically to suggest a human being on the ground, clenched in a fetal position while covering their ears. The figure distills with few forms the idea of human fragility enclosed in its emotional dimension, despite the power of its physical matter.   Gormley constructs, or rather deconstructs a body with the aim of removing from the private sphere the possibility of identification through substance, in favor of a more meditative reflection.
Gavin Turk's work is a life-sized wax statue of Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the most important British philosophers of the early 20th century, specializing mainly in mathematical philosophy.  His theory opposed to the psychoanalytic propositions of the time, particularly Freud's theories on dream interpretations, considered by Wittgenstein as not very logical: for this reason, Gavin Turk portrays him contemplating the egg he holds in his hand, an object as symbolic as it is rational.
Robert Gober - Bird's Nest - 2018-19 - is an assemblage of elements centered on a disembodied leg cast in beeswax, complete with stocking, sandal, and a bandage on the knee, while the point of truncation is crowned with a bird's nest filled with blue eggs.  The surreal composition proposes a set of objects that oneirically become a theater in which the spectator imagines an altered world where nature coexists with the precariousness of the body.   Located somewhere between the grotesque, the absurd, and the bizarre, the work frames a reality where objects and living beings cohabit in the ordinariness of their lives while at the same time suggesting moments of estrangement.
From the works in Corpus Domini of the historical hyperrealists, we arrive at other narrative typologies where the body is evoked rather than represented, where it seems to have vanished, leaving only the traces of having been there:  the human being is evoked through clothing, through the remnants of his work or nomadic existence, as well as through fragments of the body and its mutation which reflect the shifting social conditions of the contemporary world.  A special mention should go to Christian Boltanski, who passed away just recently, who is present with the work - above - Le Terrill Grand-Hornu - 2015.
Ibrahim Mahama's installation - John B B - 2013-16 - is composed of jute drapery, obtained from plant bark, with a coarse weave that is rough to touch.  Sometimes embellished and embroidered, jute sacks are an important symbol for the artist's culture because they are used to collect cocoa beans, or more generally food, coal, and other products destined for trade.  The sack is therefore the embodiment of the multinational market, an empty and open material that signifies the absence of a body, that of the workers.

Zharko Basheski's art is a mirror of personal experience in the outside world and his sculptures give us a picture of a humanity that displays its own complexes as identifiers of its existence.  In Out Of... - 2018 - the bust of an oversized man cantilevers out from the wall, exhausted and dying, attached to a IV drip that keeps the bloodless body fragment alive.  The dramatic poses and expressions of his works give definition to the destruction of the soul that passes through the crumpling of the body condition, a translation that it apparent in these photorealistic sculptures in which the subjects embody their own feelings, smothered and unexpressed.
There are three works by Franko B in the exhibition, two of which are series. Unloved - 2018 - is a resin sculpture of the body of a boy who died on the beach following a wreck of a boat full of immigrants.  The drawings on canvas of the series Stitched Drawings - 2018 - made with woolen yarn, depict men, women, and children who live on the street, showing us only fragments of their bodies, while the other series - Valigie - 2018-2019 - is a collection of luggage and bags that are worn with age yet still alive with hope.  The imagery of Franko B reveals a brutal reality lacerated by pain and illness, but despite that everything still needs to express itself, to love and be loved.  It is the expression  of a world that is represented through everyday objects, which in his works take on a precarious and neurotic valence.

Mark Quinn has two standing statues - Thomas Beatie - 2008 - and - The Beauty of Healing - 2014 - made of concrete, a male and a female whose appearance has been altered.  The woman has geometric tribal scarifications on her body, while the man cradles his own pregnant belly.  The mutation of human identity in its imaginable forms, some unreal and others impossible, allows the artist to change the narrative of classical statuary:  it is a way to visualize new possible worlds in which women with scars and men giving birth represent the new Venuses and the new emperors, to be remembered in future millennia as a symbol of a society, our society, full of possible realities that change the scenarios in the lives of human beings.

Charles LeDray's installations are mostly composed of everyday clothing that he sews himself, or handmade replicas of objects trouves as his intent is to create a narrative as new as it is familiar.  His works provide a concrete imagery pervaded, however, by a disquieting feeling, for they are also the expression of consumerism of contemporary culture, of a human being caged in his own world.  The artist works in a miniaturized realty wherein the human body becomes the pretext to manifest a disturbance.   Men's Suits - 2006-2009, in fact, is an installation composed of three illuminated racks of clothing, as if in a shop, with the only difference being that the proportions are drastically reduced.  Clothes, hangers, tables, and shelves in miniature format that expose the existential condition with a ration that is no longer 1:1, making the viewer feel like Gulliver discovering his own world.  The experience the American artist recreates puts the human spirit in crisis, which finds itself faced with a reality of its own creation, but which at the same time is too narrow, suffocating it and erasing its sense of belonging.
Denizens of Brussels - 2015 is one of Andres Serrano's latest photographic series, showing women, children, dogs and many other social categories who live homeless in the Belgian capital.   The representation of these individuals - who laugh, hug, kiss, sleep, play, and despair - is narrated through the saturated color of the clothes they wear and the cardboard shelters they build for themselves.  The artist capture the subjects' individuality, which makes them in a certain way familiar to the observer, makes them human rather than the rejects of a society that marginalizes them in their crumbling homes made of paper and imagination.
The sculptor John DeAndrea depicts mostly  women whose beauty he fixes forever, like a three-dimensional photograph, perfect and delicate.  With classical poses taken from the History of Art, his subjects are naked and cold in their temporal immobility, masks without a soul betrayed by their perfect epidermis.  The work on display - Kathy Hague - 1971 - is a fiberglass sculpture of a woman to which human hair has been added to make it as real as possible.  Using a method developed by the Hyperrealists at the end of the '60s, his intent is to capture an expression and an emotion through the use of a language which we can call 'sculptural photorealism', capable of identifying the psychology of the subjects and conveying it to the viewer.
The American artist Janine Antoni relates her own body to objects and actions that affect our daily lives, gathering the legacy of Body Art from the 1960s.  Slumber - 1993 - is a veritable dream machine that is activated through the artist's performance.  The work consists of a bed on which Antoni lies, hooked up to a device that measures electromagnetic waves, whose oscillations generate more or less turbulent lines which the artist then embroiders on a loom connected to the work. The machine thus documents a bodily dream, marking the passage between the invisible and the human.
Duane Hanson is one of the founders of Hyperrealism and best known for his photorealistic sculptures.  Tourists II - 1988 - is a fiberglass sculpture composed of two figures, a middle-aged and overweight couple in loud tourist garb, complete with visors, cameras, and standing and looking at something, perhaps a work of art they are waiting to understand.   The mechanism that is triggered causes the viewer to become the object of the tourists gaze, and not the other way around, immobile in their ordinariness.  It is the personification of the Pop object, which in his works gives us a glimpse of familiarity.
Dayanita Singh uses photography to reflect and expand the ways in which we relate to images.  Her recent works are a series of mobile museums that allow the images they present to be edited, archived, and exhibited indefinitely.  This work also grows out of the artist's interest in the aesthetic and narrative possibility of interrupting and re-contextualizing various sequences and re-sequences.  File Museum - 2012 - brings together photographs of bureaucratic archives and the archivists who work there, in a limbo of chaos and order.  Suitcase Museum - 2015 - is a collection of 44 framed book covers, each belonging to a specific journey that Singh has taken in her career, contained in two leather suitcases with wheels so that the artist can carry them with her.   In Time Measures, Sequence VII - 2016 - she exhibits photographs of bundles of documents taken from Indian archives that are wrapped in dyed red fabric, like fugitive to be hidden and protected.  Photography, the locus par excellence of memory, become a body within which to both shelter and show oneself.

Urs Luthi is an eclectic artist who explores the languages of the body through photographs and ambivalent representations.  He works mainly on the de-peronalization of his own identity by abusing photographs and stories in which he portrays himself as something other than what he really is.  On display Low Action Games II - 2001 - from the series Placebos and Surrogates, a three-dimensional realization of two of his photographs in which he holds a ball in his hand and then drops it.  The sculpture, in the classic pose of Venus, immortalizes the two moments simultaneously and represents the transience of time, for which art is the only choice, enclosed in a single image.
Fabio Mauri is one of the best known Italian artists of his generation.  His work has developed around the language of cinema and his fascination with the power of the television screen and the spread of ideology.  The themes he has dealt with concern the historical reality in which he has lived, from wars to the culture of spectacle to the phenomena of globalization.  On display are three of his works, each of which is a collection of containers.  Above - China ASIA Nuova - 1996 - the wall is made of metal trunks manufactured in China.  At its center is a screen on which is shown the twisted destiny of the execution of a young revolutionary involved in the events of Tiananmen Square.
American artist Carole A. Feuerman is the only woman among the founders of the Hyperrealist movement of the late 1960s.  Although her works represent human beings, they are often made on a larger scale to emphasize the hyper-real dimension that differentiates them from nature, yet they remain recognizable as mostly dancers, swimmers, and protagonists of the urban scenes in which they are often installed.   In this exhibition Museum-scale Eyes Open with Black Mat Suit and Gold Cap - 2021 -  and Next Summer - 2013 - the swimmers, like the dancers, are the expression of the free and dichotomous feeling of life and art itself, an investigation of the body that the artist filters through the exaltation of feminine beauty.
American artist Marc Sijan's depiction of human beings with living features is borrowed from classical and Renaissance art, in which every detail, from wrinkles to veins, was chiseled into the material of the sculpture.  The artist seeks to rediscover the wonder and amazement in looking at these bodies that, however, no longer represent classical beauty, but the aesthetics of the society in which we live.  Corpulent, tattooed, and senile bodies, bodies modified by work, by the gym, or by indolence:  these are the human beings that he describes with his laborious technique which, through multiple layers of oil paint, aims to make every detail seem truer than reality.  On display are two life-size security guards - Standing Guard - 2015 - above - dressed in a uniform that makes them familiar, but at the same time makes the viewer aware that these figures, if encountered in everyday life, would not receive the same attention.  

AES+F is a group of Russian artists, who work mostly with photography, video, and sculpture, it was formed in 1987, initially composed of Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, and Evgeny Svyatsky who were joined by Vladimir Fridkes in 1995.  Their enquiry starts from the manipulation of the collective imagination with the aim of appropriating a new narrative in which history, events, and appearances are mixed to create new, more unsettling scenarios.  Representing their country at the Venice Biennale numerous times the collective interweaves the categories of the sacred and the profane through a creation of images with an epic and multicultural flavor. The work presented here - Mare Mediterraneum - 2015-18 - consisting of 9 sculptures, 9 drawings and a video, the geographical epicenter of Mediterranean cultures.  As such the work narrates the paradoxical stories in which ethnicities, sexualities, religions, ethnics and bodies intersect to navigate the same social sea, a place that has always been the site of encounters and clashes  of love and war.   Even the porcelain from which the sculptures are made represents a junction of migrations, occupations, and cultural exchange that in this pelagic theater sees women and men, young and old, dancing without the fear of difference. 
The Catalogue
The catalogue - Corpus Domini - dal Corpo Glorioso alle Rovine dell'Anima - a cura di Francesca Alfano Miglietti is published in Italian and English by Marsiglio Editori - with essays by the curator, Francesca Alfano Miglietti and contributions by Vincenzo Argentieri, Franco Berardi "Bifo", Furio Colombo, Francesca Giacomelli, Gianfranco Ravasi, Massimo Recalcati, Chiara Spangaro, Gino Strada and Moreno Zani.















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